A hidden gem, in a secluded corner of north west Anglesey, with monastic, artistic, poetic, lifeboat and bone setting links!
Best approached on foot along the path leading from a nearby unclassified road, St Fflewin’s church is said to have been founded in 630 by one of the sons of Ithel Hael, a Breton prince. Along with eight siblings, Fflewin accompanied Cadfan to Wales to spread the Christian faith and establish churches and monasteries, including communities at Tywyn and on Bardsey (Ynys Enlli).
The circular churchyard, with its arched lych-gate, indicates the antiquity of the site although the present church building (listed Grade II) dates from the early 18th century. Later restoration work unearthed some 13th century fragments, including part of an early gravestone with a Latin inscription (‘HIC IACET MADOCUS’), now set into a windowsill. The nine-sided font dates from the 14th or 15th century and the church also displays a charming 18th century wooden pitch pipe, intended to help with congregational singing in pre-organ days.
Situated by a farm in an isolated corner of Mynydd Mechell, St Fflewin’s was at one time grouped with the churches of Llanrhuddlad and Llanrhwydrys under the care of the 19th century Welsh poet and priest Morris Williams (better known by his bardic name Nicander), a pioneer of the Oxford Movement in north Wales. It is one of three small churches designated ‘betysai’ or ‘houses of prayer’ in the Bro Padrig Ministry Area.